Club wins HEARTS

Cape Town Club has shed its stuffy im­age and is rein­vent­ing its im­age, writes Bianca Cole­man

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

ONCE upon a time I was the Queen Of Clubs, wrote a weekly col­umn about night­clubs in Cape Town, and par­tied all night. That was in an­other life­time. Now, at the risk of ru­in­ing my rep­u­ta­tion, I’d rather be in bed with a book and a nice cup of tea.

There’s none of this Fomo thing the young­sters of to­day have; I’ve done my time – and more – on dance floors. Or so I thought.

When my long-time friend Gia Pra Le­vis mes­saged me to say she and her part­ner Vic­to­ria Jack­son were launch­ing a new Fri­day af­ter work event at the Cape Town Club, I con­sulted my di­ary.

“What time does it go on un­til?” I asked her. “2am,” she replied. Oh, how I laughed and laughed. Not only be­cause I had no in­ten­tion of still be­ing up and about at that time, but also be­cause it was the Cape Town Club, that rather posh and ex­clu­sive mem­bers-only do­main with its wood-pan­elled walls and dour por­traits. How could this even be pos­si­ble, I won­dered.

Hav­ing al­ready been to the Mon­day Night Magic events at the club (re­turn­ing next month) I had some idea of the plea­sures the venue has to of­fer. So off I went to find out what Gia and Vic­to­ria were up to.

It be­gins with more or less what you would ex­pect – drinks in the draw­ing room. A red car­pet, vel­vet rope, and smart door­men al­ready up the level of so­phis­ti­ca­tion on ar­rival. The long high-ceilinged room is fur­nished with comfy couches, and in­ti­mate fire­side chairs. Light­ing is soft and pink, and a DJ plays ap­pro­pri­ately am­bi­ent elec­tron­ica. Or in Gia’s words: “Any­thing but house mu­sic”.

You can or­der tapas as well. I was cap­ti­vated by the eclec­tic mix of peo­ple, the likes of which you would never ex­pect to see at a place like this. Plus, on both oc­ca­sions I have been there so far, I have bumped into a num­ber of old (and new) friends, which is al­ways good. A show at an­other venue beck­oned me but I was in­trigued by what was promised later; at 9pm the base­ment opens and be­comes a night­club, with lounge ar­eas, a bar, and a dark dance floor. The mu­sic was to be voodoo hop, an in­trigu­ing and mys­te­ri­ous genre of which I had never heard.

When I got back the base­ment was pump­ing, and the mu­sic was awe­some. I got on to that dance floor and didn’t get off un­til I couldn’t stand my un­planned high heels a mo­ment longer. The last time I was this trans­ported with a new genre was when I dis­cov­ered trance nearly 20 years ago.

All the in­tox­i­cat­ing fun and de­light is in­ter­wo­ven with this be­ing the Cape Town Club, which, af­ter be­ing so unattain­able to the masses for so long, has launched it­self into 2016 with alacrity, shrug­ging off its staid and stuffy im­age and em­brac­ing new and ex­hil­a­rat­ing ad­ven­tures, while los­ing none of its deco­rum.

“Vo and I are ex­tremely ex­cited at be­ing part of the trans­for­ma­tion of this pro­gres­sive and ex­cit­ing city and the thrill of tak­ing such a his­tor­i­cal venue and truly in­te­grat­ing it turns us on no end!” says Gia, who has been work­ing with Vic­to­ria (Vo) on and off for 10 years. A few months ago they were ap­proached by The Cape Town Club to join forces to bring the club, along with its mem­ber­ship com­pli­ment, el­e­gantly into the 21st cen­tury. Now on the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the club, Even­tion (their com­pany) chose Fri­day af­ter­noons to slowly be­gin the evo­lu­tion, but this is just the be­gin­ning, says Gia.

“The club has been syn­ony­mous with pres­tige, ex­clu­siv­ity and un­par­al­leled net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties since 1898. Its pri­mary goal has been to con­tinue to op­er­ate an ex­clu­sive think­ing-per­sons’ club dur­ing the week for mem­bers and po­ten­tial movers and shak­ers. The in­ten­tion now is to use week­ends to be­come part of our vi­brant city by open­ing up the space to the mu­sic, de­sign and art scenes.”

Cape Town Club, 18 Queen Vic­to­ria Street.Call 021 424 5586 or go to www.capetown­club.org.za

PIC­TURES: SUP­PLIED

Cape Town Club is the place to be on Fri­days af­ter work and is be­com­ing more in­clu­sive.

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